Annotated Anime: Little Busters!: Refrain Ep. 5


Like this pun, it's a cat-astrophe

What is it with those cat ears that Rin randomly sprouts from her head? Perhaps she's part cat, and her arc will turn into something really creepy once we meet her parents. Most likely, she's just an extra for Strike Witches. We just have to wait for her to strap rockets to her legs and start flying about.

It's that time again! Another episode of the Little Busters! sequel, which seems to now be confirmed as a thirteen episode series. This is slightly worrying, because it doesn't really feel like we've made much progress. Kurugaya is still MIA, and we haven't had a lot of time with Kud in quite a while. 

Can this story wrap up in just seven remaining episodes, or are we going to get another helping in one form or another in the near future? Time will tell, but in the meantime, let's talk about episode five.

The last episode concluded with Riki and Rin finally dating, though as I mentioned in the recap for that episode, it didn't seem like Rin was really sure what a relationship actually involves. In fact, she seems to act like it's something she must do, and that if she really has to have a love interest at some point, it should be Riki. These feelings, which I'm positive are platonic, seem to have caught Riki off guard. I don't doubt that he has romantic feelings for her, but I also think he's aware of how Rin seems to be treating the relationship. 

Still, there are more important things to do. Remember the note that Rin found attached to a cats' tail a little while ago? It told them to "volunteer themselves" in homeroom, and it seems that time has come. Without worrying too much about how someone can predict the future (and sends a cat as the messenger), the new couple decide to do as the note says and raise their hands. This lands them with the job of showing some inspectors around the school, and while Riki takes this job in his stride, Rin is petrified. That said, in the end this was quite the confidence-booster for her, even if it did throw her in the deep end a little bit. We're finally seeing her come out of her shell around non-Little Busters! members.

Right on queue, the good news of Rin loosening up around strangers is hampered when she's called into the faculty office. Komari delivers this news to the others, and while she shouldn't know why Rin's been called there, she seems awfully down about it. Hmm, I'm watching you Komari, because something doesn't seem right here.

When Rin is finally out of the office, she tells everyone that she's been chosen to move to another school temporarily, as they are sending people there to help raise morale after some students died on a school trip. It's another opportunity for Rin to grow as a person, but it'll keep her away from Riki for quite some time. This is where things really get interesting.

Rin seems rather indifferent to whether she goes or not, but Riki more or less demands that she stay with him. In fact, this is probably the first time that he has ever been this obstinate with someone, and it seems to all be stemming from his anger towards Kyousuke. See, instead of preventing Rin from going to this new school like you would expect from a protective older brother, Kyousuke instead claims it would be good for Rin to go, offering no room for debate on the matter. This is rather suspect, as it seems out of character for Kyousuke. To make matters worse, Riki then upsets Rin by telling her that she should just go already, being incredibly mean in the process. Sure, this is one of those "for her own good" scenarios, but you can't help but want to kick they guy in the shins a few times for doing it.

Is that enough drama for one episode? Of course not, as Riki finds himself following Lennon, the cat that's been bringing the messages. It leads him to Kyousuke, who doesn't really try and hide the fact that he's been sending them, nor giving much of a clue as to why he knows what's going to happen in the future. When the duo's conversation is interrupted, Kyousuke grabs Riki's hand and runs into the forest. Riki trips up, but Kyousuke continues on, fading into the forest.

Kyousuke's 'fading away' while leaving Riki to pick himself up is really bugging me. Not because I think there's any crazy metaphorical meaning to it, but because it reminds me of that odd scene in the previous episode. When Riki and Rin left the club house in episode four, we see Kyousuke glowing gold while most of the new members of the Little Busters! (with the exception of Komari) walk away. I'm really starting to wonder what's going on with Kyousuke, because it's obvious that he's much more than a meddling brother. One thing's for sure: I need to know.

[Don't refrain from watching this show! Catch the latest episode on Crunchyroll.]

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Chris Walden
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Some say that he can breathe Some say that he can jump over a All we know is that he's Brittanian, and that we are all He's on Twitter though: more + disclosures



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